University News

Second Cannabis-Related Minor - Cannabis & Culture – to Debut at WIU in Fall 2020

February 19, 2020

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University is ahead of the curve once again, with the announcement of a second cannabis-related minor, Cannabis and Culture, set to debut this fall through the WIU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Western recently announced the School of Agriculture's new Cannabis Production minor that will also begin in Fall 2020.

Western's Faculty Senate approved the latest minor at its meeting Feb. 18. The 18-19 credit hour interdisciplinary minor is comprised of courses from anthropology, botany, history, liberal arts and sciences, philosophy, religious studies and political science. The minor includes such courses as Cannabis Culture, Religion & Drugs, Contemporary Moral Problems, History of Drugs, Introduction to Public Policy and Ethno-botany, among others. An online version of the minor is also under review.

"This interdisciplinary minor lays the foundation for understanding the socio-cultural, historical and politics of cannabis use in the U.S. and around the globe," said WIU Interim Provost Billy Clow. "We're thrilled to be able to provide our students with new, progressive academic programs such as the new minors in Cannabis and Culture and Cannabis Production."

According to Anthropology Professor Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, co-creator of the new CAS minor, the cannabis industry, which is rapidly growing, needs individuals who not only have a broad-based education, but also who have an understanding of policy, as well as marketplace knowledge.

"This new minor will provide our students with educational opportunities that examine numerous aspects of the cannabis trade," Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor and co-creator Sarah Haynes added. "And our new minor is distinct within the state of Illinois. No other public or private institution in the state offers a minor of this type that addresses the cultural aspects of the cannabis industry and its global use."

For more information about the new minor, contact Haynes at or (309) 298-2214 or McIlvaine-Newsad at or (309) 298-1264.

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